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Gaza finds support in Salt Lake City rally

by C. R. Manor |
July 19, 2014
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Hundreds rally in solidarity with Gaza. (FightBack!News/ Staff)
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Banner supporting Palestinian activist Rasmea Odeh at Utah protest. (FightBack!News/Staff)

Salt Lake City, UT--The streets of Salt Lake City become yet another site of struggle for Palestinian freedom. Over 200 people rallied at the Wallace Bennett Federal Building to denounce Israel’s collective punishment of Gaza. The message was loud and clear: the Israeli occupation of Palestine must end.

Israel launched Operation Protective Edge, a belligerent bombing campaign of the Gaza strip, which has now claimed the lives of over 200 Palestinians. The U.S. continues to assert Israel’s right to defend itself, while going so far as to blame Palestinian deaths on Hamas. The U.S. spends $3.1 billion on Israel every year, much of it military aid.

Speaking at the rally was Gregory Lucero, a member of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization: “Israel says it wants peace, but the Israeli Defense Forces continue to occupy Palestinian land and demolish homes for new settlements. What kind of peace does Israel really want?”

Organizers of the rally passed out information on the Sept. 8 trial in Detroit, Michigan of longtime Palestinian activist Rasmea Odeh. Odeh was tortured and imprisoned by the Israeli military in 1969. Now the U.S. government is putting her on trial, 20 years after she came to the U.S. and 10 years after she was granted citizenship.

Lucero said, “The oppression of Palestinians happens right here in the U.S. everyday. People can take concrete actions to defend Rasmea Odeh. Odeh is a hero to many. Anybody can visit www.stopFBI.net and learn more about the outrageous charges Rasmea Odeh faces.”

The crowd of 200 marched through the streets of downtown Salt Lake City, carrying signs and Palestinian flags. Voices filled the air with chants of “Shame on Israel,” and “Free Palestine!”

Organizer Sarah Simmons of the SLCC Revolutionary Students Union vows to continue the struggle in Salt Lake City for the Palestinian cause and in defense of Rasmea Odeh.